Popular Chinese filmmaker and documentary maker Du Bin was arrested on Wednesday, Dec. 16, in Beijing by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) police. According to reports, he was days away from presenting a new critical book on the experiments of former communist leader Vladimir Lenin.
Police arrested documentary filmmaker and independent writer Du Bin, a month before the publication in Taiwan of his book on Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin’s government.
According to the Du’s friends, he is in a detention center in Daxing District, accused of “provoking fights and causing trouble,” a general accusation widely used by the CCP’s police to suppress dissent.
Since 2011 Du has been working as a journalist, writer, filmmaker, and documentary filmmaker, always focusing his criticism on the CCP and human rights violations and political events in China.
In 2013, he was detained for 37 days after releasing a documentary exposing Falun Gong practitioners’ inhumane treatment and persecution at a labor reform center in Shenyang in northeastern Liaoning Province.
According to the documentary and numerous other reports, Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted by the CCP since 1999 after their popularity reached over 70 million practitioners in China. Persecution includes illegal detention, forced labor, torture, and forced removal of organs followed by death.
Wu Yangwei, an anti-CCP activist from Guangzhou, said of Du’s arrest, “The authorities have already significantly tightened control over the media and the internet in China and are extending control over publishing overseas now, as well as the use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter outside China.”
“The authorities have purged civil society [in China] in recent years, suppressing freedom of expression and any defiant activities,” Wu continued.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said the CCP leads the world in jailing journalists for the second consecutive year, with at least 47 journalists behind bars since December last year.
Early December also saw the sad news of the arrest of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy leaders Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam, and Agnes Chow. They were sentenced to prison after participating in a series of protests created in resistance to the CCP’s tightening of its control over the territory under the new national security law imposed in July.
Joshua Wong received the harshest sentence with 13 and a half months in prison, Agnes Chow was sentenced to 10 months, and Ivan Lam received seven months. Wong has been charged in other cases and Chow still faces possible charges of inciting secession, so all activists are subject to harsher sentences from the CCP, according to Fox News.
Wong, Chow, and Lam were part of a pro-democracy political party, which dissolved shortly before the National People’s Communist Congress passed a new security law in June that criminalizes regular protest activity as “terrorism” and “subversion.” Any attempt by protest groups to work with members of the international community was also criminalized.
Violators of the new legislation are subjected to harsh penalties, including the possibility of life imprisonment.
These latest events, coupled with the recent Du case, attest that the CCP uses various mechanisms to silence political dissidents even on foreign soil.